Zhang Jinbao frowned, displeased. “No way! Don’t let any of our Martial Uncles hear about this, they’ll whip you!”
Chengfeng had a natural talent of instantly forming close connections. “I’m just joking, Senior Brother Dabao! I wouldn’t even dare breathe if I bumped into any of those strict-looking Martial Uncles!”
Zhang Jinbao looked delighted once again. “Yeah! But we have many rules in the Spiritual Mountain Sect, especially within Cangjin Court. You’ve got to be careful. If you break the rules and don’t have any of the Martial Uncles to protect you, you’ll be kicked off the mountain.”
Li Chengfeng felt a chill and his smile vanished. “I’ve got a lot to learn!”
Zhang Jinbao really liked Chengfeng a lot, patiently explaining all the rules of Spiritual Mountain Sect and Cangjin Court. Chengfeng quietly memorised them all.
When they were almost to the shiny golden palace, he could not help but ask, “Senior Dabao, may I ask, do you even have the time to cultivate if you’re busy with your business?”
Zhang Jinbao laughed bitterly and touched his round belly with a sigh. “I’m just not meant for cultivation, unfortunately!”
Chengfeng’s chest tightened and forced a smile. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve been a fat ball since I was born. Do you know how heavy I was as a newborn? Ten kilogrammes! Ten!”
Chengfeng drew a sharp breath. “Are you human?”
Zhang Jinbao’s face darkened as Su Yuehan snickered.
“I’m so fat but I’ve been like this since I was born so can you blame me? And I’m the only son of the family. My father hoped for me to be a famous cultivator and did his very best to send me into Cangjin Court. Sigh, and that was after paying twenty years’ worth of offerings. But has he ever thought about what his son wants?”
Li Chengfeng looked at him with pity. When he arrived in his world, he suffocated under the immense pressure Madam Xie had put on him. He had the hope of ten generations resting on his shoulders.
He understood the pain.
“Everyone has different talents, don’t worry about it. Plus I just arrived, I need to learn from you, Senior Brother.”
Zhang Jinbao laughed and slapped his chest. “Alright, from now on, when you buy from me I’ll give you a discount of thirty… uh, twenty… uh, ten percent discount!”
What? Are you serious?
This guy is even more of a cheapskate than me!
Li Chengfeng’s eyes widened and could not believe his ears. All those compliments for nothing?!
His eye twitched but he forced a smile. “Great! You’ve got to look out for me!”
Zhang Jinbao grinned. “Don’t worry about it. I may not be good at cultivation but I am great at business! Everyone in the sect will surely give me face!”
He had just finished speaking when a senior brother nearby with three yellow stripes on his sleeve yelled over, “Dabao, send me 1.5kg of Ziwu incense and 2 taels of Thousand Fragrant Grass later. Don’t you dare short change me or I’ll beat you up!”
Zhang Jinbao turned around immediately and said subserviently, “Eheh, alright! I’ll definitely bring them over!”
Chengfeng was speechless. What happened to giving you face?!
Zhang Jinbao took out a small notebook and a pen from his sleeve to note it down. Chengfeng took a peek to see it densely filled with notes like that.
When he finished noting it down, Jinbao smiled. “Friendliness brings you business!”
Chengfeng held back his laughter and nodded. “Your business looks like it’s doing well.”
Even Zhang Jinbao felt like he had to eat his words. “That guy from just now is usually very fierce, it’s best you don’t provoke him.”
He had just finished when three pretty Cangxiu cultivators walked out of the Cangjin Court’s entrance. Next to them was a haughty Cangjin Court senior brother. All four of them were chatting away happily when the senior brother saw Jinbao and yelled sternly, “Dabao, why hasn’t the stuff you promised me arrived yet?”
Zhang Jinbao smiled apologetically, “Tomorrow! It’ll arrive tomorrow for sure!”
The senior brother raged, “You said the same thing yesterday, now you say it’ll arrive tomorrow? I don’t want it anymore, I demand a refund!”
Zhang Jinbao’s face changed and glared. “No refunds!”
Everyone was stunned for a moment and then started laughing. A very pretty senior sister giggled. “I’ve always heard about how Zhang Jinbao likes his money as much as his own life, guess he lives up to that.”
Zhang Jinbao looked pleased with himself, his nose high up in the air but he did not expect the senior brother to send him a flying kick. He rolled back once and then stood up.
The senior brother yelled, “You stupid fatty, if I don’t beat you up right now…” Then he stepped forward to punch him.
Li Chengfeng had been listening to Zhang Jinbao’s explanation of the sect rules along the way, and one of them was the ban on using spells during unapproved fights. Anyone who broke the rules would be stripped of their cultivation and kicked out.
However, there was bound to be conflicts within such a large sect. How did they settle fights then?
The best method was with fists and kicks!
Zhang Jinbao quickly curled into a ball and hugged his head, as if accepting the fate of being beaten.
The senior was about to punch him when a person blocked him. He paused and regarded Li Chengfeng from head to toe, holding back his anger. “Who are you? Move!”
Chengfeng greeted him with the Cangjin greeting and said, “Senior Brother, I implore you to stop this.”
When he saw that this was just a junior from his own sect, he smirked coldly. “Since when did they let any Tom, Dick and Harry into our sect? Look at you! Are you sure you didn’t steal your golden invitation?”
He then laughed along with the rest.
Su Yuehan raged, “Ptui! You’re blind! My Young Master ranked first in two tests and is a son of a major clan! Where are you from then? Why not tell us who you are!”
Su Yuehan was an ‘experienced’ character after all, extremely familiar with the antics of descendants from major clans. These idiots liked to compare families, bragging about how cool their dads were.
The senior regarded Su Yuehan with brightened eyes. This junior must be of notable background to have such an adorable handmaiden.
He laughed and said, “I’m the son of Beijing’s Ceremonial Officer. Who are you?”
The *universal rule was that cultivators do not become politicians and royals do not become cultivators. However, even the strictest laws had loopholes, let alone a century-old universal rule?
[Note: this is to prevent a person from holding too much power- if an emperor had both the empire’s military and magical powers, he would be way too powerful. Hence in many wuxia stories it is custom for anybody in a political position to give up cultivation entirely.]
Rich families often judged their sons at an early age to determine their life’s path. If they were talented in cultivation, they would be sent to become cultivators. So what if he did not become a politician? If they were academically inclined, they would be sent to apply for civil servant examinations to continue their family’s legacies as powerful government officials. A family with both cultivators and palace officials had it all.
Su Yuehan was shocked, for she knew what a ceremonial officer was. It was a top-ranked official. Even the prefecture chief would have to bow down to this person.
She looked at Chengfeng uncomfortably, worried he might not be able to get himself out of this conversation in one piece. But who was Li Chengfeng? This was the King of Troublemakers, a seasoned swindler who did not even need to blink when telling a lie! Of course he would be able to get himself out of this!
Li Chengfeng did not look impressed at all, instead bursting into laughter. “Just a puny ceremonial officer? And you’re already so arrogant about it?”
The senior’s face changed as he eyed Li Chengfeng cautiously. Everyone else looked at him with peculiar expressions, wondering who this guy with dried salt patches in his clothing was.
You’re challenging the son of a top-ranked officer? You must have a death wish!
Li Chengfeng smiled calmly and fished the goldfish pouch he swiped from Zhan Qisheng that had seven golden lines embroidered to it. He then tied it to his waist. All these were learned people, for they immediately recognised it. Seven golden stripes? A Marquis?!
This beggar-looking boy was the descendant of a Marquis? Which Marquis?
The senior did not dare act recklessly now, immediately bowing as he asked carefully. “May I ask which Marquis?”
Li Chengfeng held his nose up in the air and turned to the northwest. Everyone’s faces changed quickly. “You’re… the Fourth Young Master of the Zhan family?”
They had heard that the Zhan family would send their fourth son to Spiritual Mountain, but they were not expecting to meet him at all!
Su Yuehan’s expression changed into a peculiar one as she lowered her head until her chin touched her chest, terrified that her expression might ruin his lie.
Zhang Jinbao’s eyes lit up. “Aiya, I’m so stupid for not realising it! So you’re a rich man, Junior Brother!”
Li Chengfeng looked at him in exasperation. What kind of senior are you? All you’ve done is caused me trouble!